One explanation of Akong Rinpoche’s 1983 acceptance of the Chinese Government’s invitation to visit occupied Tibet is that he did it for the benefit of the people he thought he could help in occupied Tibet by doing so. Fair enough.
I’m so glad the Chinese Government didn’t approach Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1983 to visit occupied Tibet. On another thread here I was discussing Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche earlier. I published a hot take on Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche years ago and I’m to this day getting comments on it.
Nobody appears to care about Akong Rinpoche by comparison. One, maybe two people have over the years had something to say about Akong Rinpoche here. He was a decent human being. I get that. What he did makes sense, in retrospect. Of course he collaborated with the Chinese Government. It’s not like he ever claimed to have done otherwise. He left to history to judge what he had done.
Historically, the consequences of what he did when he accepted the Chinese Government’s invitation to visit occupied Tibet in 1983 are with us to today in the 17th Karmapa and his promise to the Chinese Government to return the Black Crown to Tsurphu.
In regards to my hot take on the question of what Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche would have done if the Chinese Government had invited him to visit occupied Tibet in 1983 is that he would have declined to take it up. Unlike as with Akong Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa believed his people’s future was not with the Chinese Government, a dictatorship, but instead in the West, living in a democracy. As far as their Buddhism was concerned it is well known how they parted company at Samye Ling over there differences on that subject.
It is hard to emphasize too much though just how unthinkable, how outside the box the Chinese Government’s invitation to visit occupied Tibet extended to Akong Rinpoche was in 1983. The Cold War was on and Reagan had the Pope in Poland, Radical Islam in Afghanistan, and the Dalai Lama on China’s border in India weaponized against the Godless Communist threat to his God fearing United States of America.
I don’t see Chogyam Trungpa wanting a piece of such madness. Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches were perfect for the job though, what they all saw to be their last best chance to save Tibetan Buddhism in the only form they have ever known it, with monasteries filled with children to be taught as was the case of the Tibet they fled into exile as young men.